If you have children and are considering separation, then inevitably they will be your first concern and priority. You will need to discuss and decide where they will live, and how often they will spend time with both parents. Often parents are able to agree on these important decisions, in which case no Court intervention will be necessary.
However sometimes things are more complex and it may not be possible to agree what should happen, or you may have a specific concern about something, for example one parent might want to move abroad. If this is the case, then it is possible to make an application to the Court under the Children & Families Act 2014, which came into force on 22 April 2014, and introduced the concept of Child Arrangements Orders. Child Arrangements Orders have now replaced Residence and Contact, and before them Custody and Access, which disappeared a long time ago. Child Arrangements Orders are Court Orders that regulate the living and contact arrangements for a child, or deal with specific issues relating to a child, following parental separation. If it is not possible to reach agreement about where a child should live, or how often they should see their parents, then we would recommend that the parties consider trying alternative dispute resolution either by the Mediation process or by using the Collaborative Law process.
If you do end up going to Court, the Court will consider all the circumstances of the case, and also specific factors which we detail on the attached fact sheet. For specific advice about your individual circumstances, please contact one of our Solicitors at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The practice is delighted to share with you the news that The Legal 500 has noted Hawkins Family Law as a “Leading Firm” for the second year running and as being best known for handling high-value financial remedy cases. Key names include Jo Hawkins (who has “a wealth of experience”’), Annabel Hayward, who provides “sound and pragmatic advice”, and Loraine Davenport. The Legal 500, 2016.
Hawkins Family Law’s “exemplary“ team is ‘very good on pre-nuptial agreements and with high-net-worth clients’. Jo Hawkins has ‘strong experience and a commercial approach’; Loraine Davenport ‘fights her clients’ corner, but knows when it is in a client’s interests to settle’; and Annabel Hayward is ‘a pragmatic lawyer with a cool head’. The Legal 500, 2015.
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Hawkins Family Law are pleased to share with you that they have been quoted in the Chambers Guides UK 2016 as a “well-regarded family law boutique, notably active on ancillary relief and children matters. Ability to provide alternative dispute resolution options with mediation and arbitration experience.”